PRICE, UTAH (ABC4 UTAH) It took 39 years for a Utah cold murder case to heat back up. In 2009 a carbon county sheriff’s detective re-opened the case surrounding Loretta Jones’ death. Then, 46 years after it happened an arrest was finally made and the suspect convicted.
In this special Behind the Badge report – we meet the man who took on the challenge and took the time to find “Justice for Loretta.”
Sgt. David Brewer says “When he admitted he killed her – the goose bumps ran up and down me and I had to control myself because my first instincts were to get up and hand cuff him and drive him back to Utah.”  That is how the 46-year-old murder case against Thomas Edward Egley would finally be solved. But to understand why Detective David Brewer took on the Loretta Jones case and worked on it for seven years, we need to back up to 2002.
“I was 38 when I went to the academy and I thought it was probably best to start now before I can’t run.” Brewer certainly got a late start in law enforcement. For years he was a Subway franchise owner. But he wanted to serve and protect . So, he sold his stores – took a major pay cut – and became a cop. “It may sound corny, but when I owned Subway one of my favorite shows to watch was Cops. I would get furious watching. Just wanted to go chase em yourself.”  And a few years into the job he would get involved in one of the longest chases in Utah law enforcement history. Heidi Jones – the daughter of murder victim Loretta Jones says “I walked up to him at Helper Art Festival. I told him I had something to talk to him about.”  Jones told him about her mother’s rape and brutal murder in 1970. She told him how she found her mom stabbed to death when she was just 4 years old. And she told him that the Price, Utah case had never been solved. “It kind of excited me the whole thought of a cold case. This was my first one, as being a detective – I never had a cold case before.” “There was a lot of old wives tales – urban legends about this case – most of which were exaggerated, but enough to keep you excited about it.”  
Still – there were times it appeared the case had hit a dead end. Jones says “I remember just crying and he said its OK Heidi, you need to cry.” Despite set backs, the determined detective would not give up building a case against her mother’s killer. “To have somebody who was excited about it and somebody who was working it and asking questions and wanted to know more about it. It was a dream come true for me.”  Brewer says the case really started to move forward when they found Egley’s former girlfriend. “Our main breaking point was talking to our suspects ex-girlfriend in Kansas – that broke it open.” “She told stories about his late arrival (the day of the murder) about 3AM that morning. Some of his actions like taking his clothes out and not returning his clothes he had on that night.” And he says the investigation got another boost when he attended a cold case seminar in Salt Lake City. “You present your cold case and they fire suggestions and a bunch of questions at you and kind of got another spark in it.”  >
He eventually interviewed Egley at his home in Colorado. “We prepared the questions carefully and talked to him. Stuff he should have only known as the murderer, in this case. He knew. So that kept it going.” Then Brewer made sure that when they exhumed Loretta’s body – Egley heard about it, and was made aware they were getting DNA samples. He says after that – it appeared Egley knew his 46 year old murderous secret was out and he simply confessed. “He just started talking and said he killed Loretta Jones.”  However, that happened in Colorado – where Detective Brewer had no arresting powers. So, he had to leave Egley’s house empty handed.  “We knew we had to walk out of that house after seven years of investigating without the man who just admitted to doing this crime. It was a tough deal and hard to control myself, but had to maintain a good poker face and walk out of there. And told him we’d be in touch.” “After that we came home. We put all the attorney stuff together and had the U.S. Marshalls go and arrest him for us.”  Egley waived his preliminary hearings, confessed to the murder of Loretta Jones and was sentenced. After 46 years the case was closed. And because of the Detective Brewer’s work – Heidi says she finally had a portion of peace. “To have a detective come in and do what he’s done. Its phenomenal. I can’t give him enough praise. I know he will say he is just doing his job, but no. He changed my life. He really changed my life. The little 4-year-old Heidi is not so sad anymore.” 
Sgt. David Brewer says the case is over, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. 
“For seven years that is all I thought about and trying to convince the right people I was correct.  And to just have it over with like that. It’s hard to believe it’s over with. Know and then I still catch myself thinking what about this? And now I don’t have to do that anymore.”
Sgt. David Brewer on Thomas Egley’s confession.
“I asked him if there was a message he wanted to give to Heidi – he said, Sorry I killed your mom.”
Just before the murder of Loretta Jones – Brewer says Egley tried to abduct a 10-year-old girl a few blocks away. “He grabbed her off her bike and attempted to abduct her. She was able to get away and scream and her family came out and chased him.”
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